Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment Reinstated

A number of COVID-19 payments have been reinstated to help support the community’s most vulnerable.

The Pandemic Leave Disaster payment has been reinstated to September 30.

National Cabinet held an emergency meeting on Saturday, July 16 to discuss the ‘Third Wave’ of COVID-19 which has been driven by BA 4 and BA 5 Omicron subvariants.

Eligibility for the payment will be backdated to July 1 to ensure that anyone unable to work due to isolation requirements during that period, with no access to paid sick leave, will be supported.

Access to these payments will commence on Wednesday, July 20 with existing eligibility requirements to continue. In addition, the Federal Government reinstated the Crisis Payment - National Health Emergency (COVID-19) until September 30, with eligible backdated to July 1.

This crisis payment will ensure people affected by COVID-19 isolation requirements who receive an income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance, and who are in severe financial hardship, continue to receive support through the winter period.

The Government has further agreed to create a new, temporary telehealth item so GPs can spend longer with their patients to assess their suitability for oral COVID-19 antivirals.

This will enable those most vulnerable to COVID-19 to quickly access medical treatments and help ease the burden on hospitals.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), last week, recommended an additional COVID-19 winter booster for people aged 50 years and over, and other people at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, such as:

  • Older people;
  • People living in aged care;
  • People living in disability care;
  • Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Islander peoples, after discussion with their doctor or clinician;
  • People over the age of 16 who are immunocompromised, as defined by their doctor or clinician; and
  • Pregnant women aged between 30 and 50, after discussion with their doctor or clinician.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPC) also revised its advice about COVID-19 reinfection period from 12 weeks to 28 days.

Keep abreast of the changing COVID landscape by checking the NSW Health website at

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